A Walk on the Beach

A lovely day today (though cold!) so my wife and I took a stroll from Brynmill to Swansea via the seafront and the marina. Nice pint of Tanglefoot in Eli Jenkins on the way back and stiff muscles for the rest of the week! Took a few pictures of which this breaking wave was my favourite. More on Flickr.

Generating graphs and maths in web pages using web services

Once again Tony Hirst’s [OUseful Info](http://blogs.open.ac.uk/Maths/ajh59) blog has led me to three new pieces of brilliant web technology. In his blog entry [RESTful Image generation – When Text Just Won’t Do](http://blogs.open.ac.uk/Maths/ajh59/013114.html), Tony describes how MathTran (a Mathematics rendering service developed by the Open University) could be mashed up with with the Google Charts service to provide an easy way to get mathemattical results onto web pages. Lots of interesting stuff to follow up on but here are the highlights:
– Jonathan Fine’s blog entry on [MathTrans and Google Charts](http://jonathanfine.wordpress.com/2008/01/14/google-charts-mathtran-and-editable-png-files/) that inspired Tony’s speculations.

– The Mathematical text rendering system [MathTran](http://www.mathtran.org/) which uses JavaScript to contact a web service that converts TeX embeded in the *src* attribute of an tag into PNG graphics file. E.g. ”tex: becomes ![tex: int_0^1 x^2 dx](http://www.mathtran.org/cgi-bin/mathtran?D=1;tex=%5Cint%20_0%5E1%20x%5E2%5C%2C%20dx).

– The [Google Charts API](http://code.google.com/apis/chart/) which takes a URL like

http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?cht=p&chs=450×160&chd=s:DHNEDFD&chtt=Completed%20T175%20users%20stating%2038%20Current%20courses%20%28min%203%20users%29&chxt=y&chxr=0,0,10&chl=BM240%7CM150%7CM255%7CM257%7CM263%7CMU120%7CM366 and generates

– The [Google Charts maths equation plotter](http://www.felipebarone.com/plot-function-google.php) which takes a math formula and generates the Google Chart API code for the graph. E.g. for ![](http://www.mathtran.org/cgi-bin/mathtran?D=1;tex=%5Csin%28x%29-%5Ccos%28x%29%5Ccos%28x%29) we get

I look forward to trying these out in my own work!

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Update to my DokuWiki CLI Plugin

Applied patches suggested by users of my Command Line Interface (CLI) plugin for DokuWiki. This was my first real experience of distributed development in the open source sense. Thanks to Stephane and Andy for the suggestions: it’s nice to know that my minor contribution has been useful enough to someone that they’ve improved it! The new version of the [plugin](http://wiki.splitbrain.org/plugin:cli) is available here.

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